Habitat Unit


July 21 2022, 5.00 pm | Institut für Architektur A053, Str. des 17. Juni 152, 10623 Berlin

Ghana’s Artisanal Small-Scale Mining
Clifford Amoako & Akosua Amaka-Otchere (KNUST, Ghana)

The Politics, Illegal Activities and Struggling Reforms

In mineral-endowed African countries, while artisanal small-scale mining (ASM) provides employment avenues to many young people, the sector is also challenged by illegal activities with adverse environmental impacts. Several people have been killed through illegal mining operations. Lately, the ASM sector is also influenced by emerging foreign investments, particularly from China; unclear regulatory framework and mining laws; and compromised local and national political leadership. Consequently, attempts by relevant institutions to regulate and sanitise the local mining industry are not yielding the needed results. Very often, unclear mandates, duplicating and conflicting roles of institutions impede the enforcement of mining regulations and environmental protection laws. Hence, the sector is a major threat to local security, social cohesion and environmental sustainability. In this presentation I explore the politics and nuances of Ghana’s Artisanal Small-Scale Mining Sector, with three main areas of attention. Firstly, I explore the contours of existing socio-political power relations and institutional arrangements that have produced and continue to shape the local small-scale [gold] mining industry, and which seems to create room for illegal activities. Secondly, the impacts and local perceptions of Illegal ASM are also discussed. And finally, I will discuss recent attempts to regulate the small-scale mining sector and why they are not yielding the expected results.

Clifford Amoako (PhD) is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Planning, KNUST – Kumasi, Ghana. He is an Urban Planner and an interdisciplinary scholar who deploys multiple theoretical and methodological lenses to interrogate issues related to urban and regional development in the Global south. His current research interests are in urban governance, vulnerability and responses to natural hazards; transportation planning and artisanal small-scale mining in developing countries. He is a Fellow and current Vice President of the Ghana Institutes of Planners (GIP).


Download Poster here



David Bauer


Room 624
T + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21908
F + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21907